Glenville A. Jewell, 83, of Charleston, WV, and Lewisburg, WV, passed away on Tuesday, October 8, 2019, as result of, in his words, a medium length affliction.
Glen died of natural causes although he had survived multiple cancers. He lived a long and productive life. He was, and is, an inspiration to others battling cancers.
Glen was the son of Lera E. Page Jewell and Thomas A. Jewell of Point Pleasant, WV.
He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Carol Taylor Jewell, who he said was the best thing that ever happened to him with her undying love and devotion to his well-being and happiness.
Glen is also survived by his children, Gregory A. Jewell (Jan Foster); Eric S. Jewell (Tina Minehart); and Heather J. Casto (Paul). He leaves six grandchildren, Mallorie and Ryan Jewell, Megan and Emily Jewell, and Casey and Mason Martin; and one great-granddaughter, Lillian Jewell.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his older brother, Lowell T. Jewell.
Glen’s boyhood on the Ohio River inspired his love of the river and its riverboats. He often recalled the distinctive whistles of the boats heard at night through his open bedroom window. He said the whistle of one in particular “made the hair on the back of his neck bristle.”
Glen graduated from Point Pleasant High School in 1954 after serving as captain of the football team and student council president his senior year. Although a born engineer, he graduated from West Virginia University in 1959 with a bachelor’s degree in business management. Working his way through college, Glen skipped a semester and was hired on as a deckhand on a riverboat. When he had earned the money he needed to return to college, he was piloting the boat. That June, he began his career with C&P Telephone Company in Charleston. He was assigned to increasingly more responsible positions in St. Albans, Ravenswood, Beckley, Martinsburg, Clarksburg, and then Charleston in the Operations and Traffic Departments. He was then transferred to the Engineering department as the statewide District Manager of Interoffice Transmission Engineering. In that capacity, he oversaw the conversion of West Virginia from an all-analog interoffice network to an all-digital network of cable, microwave, and fiber optic facilities. Then, as Director of Network Engineering, he saw the completion of the conversion of all 152 West Virginia switching centers to digital technology, making West Virginia the first AT&T statewide company to be 100 percent digital. At one point, he also served as an instructor at the Bell System Center for Technical Education in Lisle, IL. He scheduled his classes so he could continue to live in Charleston and commute.
In December 1991, Glen, then 55, retired from Bell Atlantic, one of the AT&T spinoff companies. He wanted to “do the things he most loved that involved not getting up early, except to go duck hunting, and anything not related to going to a meeting.” He preferred to pursue his interests and listen to the wood thrush at home each evening.
Glen’s broad range of abilities and knowledge caused many to describe him as a Renaissance man. He loved West Virginia, its people and its traditional values and promoted them throughout his life. He both built and raced sailboats. He built kayaks and plied them in West Virginia’s whitewater. He also was a snow skier, accomplished fly fisherman, waterfowl hunter, Master Gardener, and period furniture maker. Whatever he undertook, he mastered by studying to the greatest degree imaginable. He loved sharing his knowledge with anyone who showed an interest, including his wife, children, and grandchildren. He had a wonderful sense of humor and a passion for jokes which he delivered beautifully.
Glen wrote poetry as a young man and in retirement wrote woodworking articles that were published in national and international magazines. He joined the Society of American Period Furniture Makers after its inception and was Member No. 44. He was featured in their American Period Furniture Journal. His shop was featured in a Woodcraft Magazine article. As an accomplished woodworker, he completed many period furniture reproductions for his family and enjoyed teaching others. That resulted in many friendships and bonds that lasted until his death. His last woodworking project was the reproduction of an 1820 clock made by Eli Terry. It was juried into an exhibit at the Connecticut Historic Society Museum in Hartford, where it was displayed alongside the original clock. While building his skill he studied 18th Century American period pieces and became very knowledgeable.
His love for woodworking dovetailed with his love and pride in his home. As newlyweds, he and Carol bought a Log Lodge in Charleston. He planned and executed the renovation beginning in 1980. It was furnished with both period pieces and Glen’s reproductions. In 2012, they bought a Lewisburg home built in 1784, the oldest house in town. Glen planned and managed its restoration. He personally made many custom repairs and replicated missing or damaged details. It is also furnished with Glen’s reproductions as well as period pieces. The time spent in Lewisburg resulted in many new friendships in his last years. Glen never stopped learning and growing.
As he pursued his interests, he mentored others throughout his life. At work he took a sincere interest in everyone who worked for him and wanted them to be successful. He did everything he could to make it happen. Those who did not have the good fortune to work for him knew his reputation of good character and referred to him as a “great guy.”
One of Glen’s last wishes was to give a special thanks to all the people who worked for him for their dedicated service and friendship over the years. He wanted to thank his family for their love, respect, and care for his well-being. He also wanted to thank his many other friends, especially Art King, Calvin Wilson, and David Walters, for their years of fellowship.
In lieu of flowers, Glen’s family asks that you do something in his memory for a friend, family member, or stranger that helps them in some way.
Glen’s family is planning a traditional wake to be held at The French Goat restaurant on Lafayette Street in Lewisburg on Saturday, November 2, 2019, between noon and 2 p.m. They hope that his friends and family will come together and share their memories of Glen and his long and exceptional life.
Send online condolences by visiting www.WallaceandWallaceFH.com.
Wallace & Wallace Funeral Home in Lewisburg is in charge of arrangements.
Obituary originally published in the October 25, 2019, edition of The West Virginia Daily News.